Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Pimp Endorses Mr. Morality
I ran across this story on LGF just now and had a good laugh, since over the past week I've been arguing with Rawn Pawl supporters in various comment threads who are convinced that he is the most pro-life, pro-morality, socially conservative politician that there has ever been in the history of America.
Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch near Carson City, says he was so impressed after hearing Paul at a campaign stop in Reno last week that he decided to raise money for him.
I would hate to know what kind of fundraiser this guy would have...
Update: An offended commenter notified me of this Slate article on the story. Nothing in the story is false...Fox just sexed it up a bit (pun intended), which they are known for doing.
However, Slate pointed out two more hilarious details that Fox missed:
One of the best details in the AP story is Hof's plan to put a "collection box" outside the brothel's door for patrons to donate money to Paul. It's not in Fox's story.
No comment necessary. **snicker**
One more detail that Fox inexplicably eliminated: The damning revelation that MSNBC anchor Tucker Carlson emerged from a limousine with prostitutes at a political event. Have Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes gone soft?
Slate also mentioned that apparently, Carlson is buddies with this pimp guy. Ooookay...
Posted by Susan B. at 2:35 PM
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Thursday, April 12, 2007
On this whole Imus thing...
I won't rehash this whole thing because I think everybody knows what happened by now. What Imus said was stupid and mean, but that's pretty typical for him. But how many people have died because of something Imus said? Nobody. Now contrast that with the number of people who have died because of things Al Sharpton said.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:25 AM
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Tuesday, August 8, 2006
Still really busy, but here's something for you to look at while I try and get things done...
Dawn Eden points out one of the sillier excesses of modern "art", which reminded me of a reaction to all that -- The Art Renewal Center. I even posted a link to the site in her comments. It is definitely worth visiting. There are many lovely works of genuine art, and you can buy prints as well. In addition, they have many interesting articles. Here is the first one currently linked on their front page: "Oppressors Accuse their Victims of Oppression: Modernist Tactic Exposed". An excerpt:
It is the oldest technique in the book for oppressors to accuse their victims of oppressing them. We don’t think most Modern and Post-Modern works rise to the definition of “art,” much the less good art or great art. But we don’t believe anyone should be banned from making it or exhibiting it, or even calling it art if that’s what they believe, or even if they don’t believe it and are saying they do for cynical and mercenary reasons. It is a dear and cherished right that they exercise in our free society regardless how hideous or pathetic their work may be.
But we have equally the right to say that it’s not art at all without being told that we are trying to limit their freedom of expression. Saying that we are doing that is really just a tactic they use to intimidate and suppress those with whom they don’t agree while they are actually doing what they accuse of the realists. If they can make people who don’t like their work fear being labeled as right wing extremists or “oppressors” then they have effectively silenced their opposition, in the name of freedom of expression.
Posted by Susan B. at 12:25 PM
Monday, October 10, 2005
The Upcoming Narnia Movie
Barbara Nicolosi has seen a rough cut of the forthcoming movie of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and gives it a thumbs-up:
So, this adaptation of his books on the big screen - in being true to their source material - will be tremendously, heart-fillingly comprehensible to those of us who love Jesus. And probably a bit strange to those who don't. But whereas The Passion was disturbingly incomprehensible to non-believers, this film will be fascinatingly so. I want to be clear, there is plenty of stuff to love and enjoy here for non-Christians. But they aren't going to get why we Christians are going to be in ecstasy here , any more than the pagans got why we cried copious tears at The Passion. What I am saying is, be prepared for this new Narnia film to be foolishness to the New York Times, and a stumbling block to Daily Variety.
I had worried about Disney's involvement in the project -- I didn't want to see Narnia get Disneyfied. But it looks like that isn't going to be the case. Perhaps the involvement of Walden Media (which is owned by a conservative) is why the movie is staying true to the book.
I never read the Narnia books as a child, but I'm listening to them in audiobook form now. I'm about halfway through the series. (I'm currently listening to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.) I have really enjoyed what I've heard so far and I look forward to the LW&W movie.
(Both links via Mark Shea.)
Update: Barbara Nicolosi follows up her initial post with another that wryly wonders if Disney is re-discovering its soul.
Update (10/11/05): Patrick Gaffney attended a preview of this film today at Wheaton Bible Church. He has lots of photos and C.S. Lewis' stepson, Douglas Gresham, was there as well.
Posted by Susan B. at 8:38 PM
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Friday, September 16, 2005
The media provides unintended laughs...
Thanks to Mark Shea for making me laugh this morning. Clinton is with the Spirit of the Age of Aquarius, no doubt!
I also agree that this is petty on the media's part, but also funny. It's funny because there are people who are surprised that President Bush pees and poos just like everybody else. The only thing I wonder about is this: the man is the President -- he should be able to get up and go relieve himself without asking permission. If I'm at a meeting or something at work and "nature calls" (as it does often since I drink a lot of soda and/or water and I have a bladder the size of a pea), I just mutter, "Excuse me" and I get up and go. I mean, I'm not in high school anymore...I hardly need anyone's permission to "go potty". Somebody on another blog pointed out the top writing (asking to go to the bathroom) looks different from the President's writing. Perhaps someone passed him a note asking if they could go.
Anyway, it's hilarious what kind of silly things the media will latch on to. As Steve H. says, this is more ridiculous than the "plastic" turkey brouhaha.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:35 AM
Monday, June 13, 2005
He got away with it...
I'm ending my moratorium on this subject now that the verdict is in. I absolutely believe that Michael Jackson is a pedophile. I also just knew that he would be acquitted, and unfortunately I was right.
I think the main reason he got away with it is that the mother of the boy involved was a thief and a grifter. Therefore, the jury didn't believe her or the boy. My theory is that this woman pimped her ill son out to Jacko and got mad when the gravy train ended. Next, she will probably sue Jacko and get a lot of money.
I just can't get over the idiotic fans waiting around for the verdict to be read. Do these people have lives? Jobs? One idiot woman actually released doves when the "not guilty" verdicts were read. It is to puke...
Posted by Susan B. at 9:27 PM
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Sunday, January 9, 2005
About this whole Kid Rock brouhaha...
What he said, what she said...and what she said. Yes, I agree with them all, although they have divergent opinions on this little controversy.
First of all, let me say that I can't stand Kid Rock. Even if he didn't have songs with filthy lyrics that demean women (see the bottom of Malkin's post), I still wouldn't like his music. The country-rock/rap hybrid just doesn't appeal to me.
But he has been invited to perform at a youth party at the Inauguration, and I think it would very bad form to disinvite him at this point. In other words, they are stuck, so they just better hope he behaves himself and performs his cleaner material. Since he has toured with the USO and performed for our troops (which I think is admirable), he is most likely capable of controlling himself.
The thing I'm conflicted about is this: should Kid Rock have been invited in the first place?
From Jeff Blogworthy:
We cannot persuade everyone to our way of thinking in a single epiphany. If we want people like Kid Rock and his followers to change and embrace a better way of life, it is a change that will occur incrementally. If we immediately break fellowship, what chance do we have to persuade them? If someone trapped in the homosexual lifestyle wants to attend my bible-believing church should I show him or her the door saying, "Sorry, we do not want your kind here?"[...]
While I do not approve of Kid Rock’s lifestyle, I respect the fact that he has stood up and gone against the grain of his contemporaries. He has put himself on the line professionally. What if others are considering following Kid Rock’s example but are afraid to do so because of liberal establishment pressure? What if they then see Kid Rock’s thankless fate and decide it is not worth it?
It’s interesting that some conservative Christians would rather bar this man, as if he were a leper, rather than teach him, lead him and embrace him. It’s almost as though he’s been asking to be embraced by his countrymen—especially including those of us who are justified by faith--by celebrating things American rather than spitting on them as well as all things Christian.
The guy has long been reaching out. Somebody ought to grab his hand, rather than slap it away.
From Andrea Harris:
Maybe just once we could quit looking for boobies on the internet and giggling at swear words on Fox long enough to appreciate people dancing without thrusting their crotches at each other and listening to music that isn't all about 1) how sexy the singer is, 2) how great sex with the singer is, 3) how the singer is the most important being in the whole world, 4) how women can't wait to rip off their clothes and spread their legs for the singer; not to mention has a discernable melody and a beat that doesn't resemble the sound of a Ford Fairlane engine with a thrown rod. This is a Republican administration, and that should mean uptight and dignified, not "just like the Democrats only pro-gun."
I agree with all three of the above. So you can see why I'm conflicted.
One thing I don't like about this whole brouhaha is the pounding that social conservatives and Christian conservatives have been taking. So, because we object to lyrics that degrade women and sex, because we don't like the mainstreaming of pr0n, because we acknowledge that there are some seriously sick things going on in our culture, we are the second coming of the Taliban and we want to "eradicate" those we disagree with. Yes, it's much easier to dismiss the concerns of social conservatives when you make us all out to be Donald Wildmon.
That's not to say that social/Christian conservatives are above criticism. Again from Jeff Blogworthy:
I am going to say a few words now which are targeted directly at the "Christian right." I believe in Christian liberty. This means walking a fine line between legalism and libertinism; it is not an easy thing to do. If we drift too far towards legalism, we become like the self-righteous Pharisees, enslaving ourselves and others with a litany of moral laws. If we drift to the other extreme of libertinism, we will drown in a sea of sinful hedonism and self-indulgence, thereby destroying our Christian witness and spiritual life. One thing is just as bad as the other - I humbly appeal to you for balance between the two. We cannot expect the unredeemed to behave as the redeemed. Let's work on introducing them to Jesus - their behavior will follow. We cannot do that if we act as though we are ashamed to be seen with them.
I agree...it is a difficult balancing act. Maybe that's why I have a hard time deciding whether Kid Rock should have been invited or not.
Update: I need to clarify something. When I referred to the "pounding" social conservatives were taking in this post, I was thinking more of the comments in general than what Jeff Goldstein said specifically. It was not my intention to attack him.
Jeff did take issue with a couple of comments from this post on Malkin's blog. I thought that he took them the wrong way, but my own biases may be causing me to interpret them differently than he did.
Posted by Susan B. at 3:45 PM
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Monday, October 25, 2004
Steve Taylor News
See this post on Get Religion for the details (plus some background on Steve Taylor).
Posted by Susan B. at 11:32 PM
Friday, September 10, 2004
Those Forged Documents
I haven't had a lot of time to blog or read blogs lately, but I have been following the forged documents story. Blogs broke this story, and while the mainstream media will try to ignore it, they can't do so forever. (Even Drudge, who is very disdainful of blogs, linked to the Power Line post on this that started it all.)
Two quick comments on this:
1. How dumb do you have to be to forge a document from 1973 using the default settings on Microsoft Word? They could have at least fiddled with the fonts and settings in an attempt to mimic a typewritten document, but they didn't even do that. Like Andrea Harris suggested, if they wanted to do it right, they should have procured a vintage typewriter from eBay.
2. Who forged this document? Where did it come from? Was it from within CBS, or did it come from political operatives? (Is there a difference?) If someone gave the document to CBS, did their bias against the President keep them from making any real attempt to verify the authenticity of it? (I think we know the answer to that...)
I have to admit; I'm just loving this story...
Posted by Susan B. at 9:37 AM
Friday, August 20, 2004
Those Uppity Conservative Women
Michelle Malkin was recently put through the wringer by Chris Matthews, with Keith Olbermann getting in a few shots, too. I already have a low opinion of both of these jerks, but I think they acted in an especially unprofessional manner. Also Matthew's treatment of Malkin was pretty...dare I say...sexist as well. I mean, really, what was this patronizing crap about asking her her age? I've seen liberal male* pundits treat conservative women like this before -- with total disrespect that they would not direct at conservative men. So don't tell me it isn't sexism against women who dare to not be liberal.
And what is this crap I've seen on several of the lefty blogs with calling Malkin "Little LuLu"? (I saw this in many of the references** to Malkin's post picked up on Bloglines.) Yet more patronizing sexism from liberal males* directed at a conservative woman. Oh, and they made fun of her looks, too. Typical.
(A little aside...a liberal family member recently claimed that Matthews was a "neocon" and was biased against Democrats. I think her complaint was spurred by some mildly critical remarks Matthews supposedly made about some of the speakers while covering the DNC.)
*My use of the word "male" instead of "men" is intentional here. These are not men.
**Whoever thought you'd see a bunch of liberals high-fiving a powerful white
man male for being nasty to a minority woman. ;-)
Monday, June 28, 2004
Fact-Checking Michael Moore
The blog Fahrenheit Fact does just that. (Via fellow Lutheran blogger Bunnie Diehl.)
Of course, the media "elites" should be doing this sort of thing. However, most of them are indisposed, since their lips are attached to Moore's backside like barnacles to a ship. Bunnie Diehl can attest to that.
Update: Yet more Moore fact-checking from Neal Boortz:
So let's take a look at the take, shall we? Between Wednesday and Sunday (the film opened in limited release on Wednesday,) box office estimates show a gross of $21,958,000, or just under $22 million. In comparison, in that same time frame, the new comedy 'White Chicks' pulled in $27,100,000. That's right...if you take Wednesday-Sunday, White Chicks is #1. It's only when you go to Friday-Sunday does Fahrenheit barely become the #1 movie, with an edge of just over $2 million. Hardly a box office bonanza, right? Of course, you wouldn't know that by the media coverage. (source: BoxOfficeMojo.com)
By the way ... you do know that Michael Moore regularly lies and distorts in his films, don't you? Did you see Bowling for Columbine? Maybe you remember a six-year-old who found a gun in his mother's house and killed one of his classmates. Michael Moore told us in his film that this child was unsupervised because of welfare-to-work laws. Sounds sad, doesn't it. What didn't Moore tell you? How about the fact that the mother of this child turned him over to a relative who was running a crack house where the gun was found sitting on a bed. And Moore also didn't tell you that this child's mom admitted to beating him, sitting on him and duct-taping his arms, legs and mouth. Now why would he leave that out?
Maybe you saw Moore's Roger & Me. Remember those pitiful GM workers who were being evicted from their homes? Turns out they were never even GM workers. Oh well.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:23 AM
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Here are some posts I've run across lately that tackle the subject of Christians and art.
Jared at Mysterium Tremendum is rethinking what it means to "engage the culture":
That is the real reason, I think, why more Christians aren’t found in the world’s marketplace. It is because they aren’t welcome...And we could definitely use more Christian art in the world’s marketplace. But the reason it’s not there, I think, has more to do with the world’s marketplace than the Christian artist. The sad truth is, they don’t want to hear it. And when it comes to professional artistry – where money and promotion is involved – such a transition in ministry cannot be forced. It makes no sense to tell lambs to roar in a world where they are necessarily mute.
Here is part of one of the comments I posted to that thread (with misspellings and such corrected):
I do agree that Christians should not shoulder all the blame for ghettoization and "holy huddles". Those who control the arts and the entertainment industry really are prejudiced against Christianity. Vague spirituality is fine, but if you mention the name of Jesus in a reverent way, they seethe and go nuts. (Did the furor over The Passion not teach us anything?) It's pretty hard to get your foot in the door with that kind of hatred stacked against you.
Another point made in the comments -- Christian art doesn't have to be evangelical in nature. It doesn't have to be concerned with trying to save souls. Just offering another viewpoint -- one that goes against the grain of mainstream popular culture -- can make a huge difference.
Next up, Barbara Nicolosi at Church of the Masses has an exhaustive post on why there is reason for hope in 21st century Hollywood. She hits on several subjects here.
On how "Beauty is not Pretty":
Religious people have responded to the excesses of sex and violence in mainstream cinema, by clamoring for an art that is “non-offensive.” They want happy stories, with no challenging ideas and images that will be “safe.” Hence, Christian parents are embracing really bad movies – in terms of their lack of artistry - like Cheaper By The Dozen, Walk to Remember – which are, in fact, over-sentimentalized G-rated lies.
[...]Essentially, many good Christian people have convinced themselves that the arts are optional, and even dangerous. They certainly deny that the place of the arts in society is, as the Pope has said, “a prophetic role.” Prophets in the Biblical sense are supposed to shake people out of their complacency by reminding them who they are. We need our artists to help us see and hear. To make us feel. To break up our stony hearts and give us fleshy hearts.
On the importance of The Passion:
Beyond the power of the film itself, The Passion brought God out of our churches and into the center of mainstream culture. He was front and center, in His most compelling posture as Lamb of God, and many millions of His sheep heard His voice – some for the first time. Undeniably, this has been an opportunity for dialogue and evangelization that the Church has rarely experienced before.
On the portrayal of violence in movies:
What we are learning from all this is that the problem is not with violence on the screen. It is meaningless violence that is wrong in entertainment. The Passion reconnects violence to its source in rebellion against God. It never objectifies the subject of the violence, nor does it dehumanize the perpetrators of violence. It shows the effects of violence in all its horror.
Finally, both Andrea Harris and Amy Welborn link to this article comparing the Harry Potter books to the Left Behind series. I haven't read any of those books, but I think the posts and their comments make some interesting points.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:45 AM
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Monday, April 26, 2004
Old Gray Senile Lady
Mel Gibson 1, New York Times 0
(Via the Thinklings.)
Posted by Susan B. at 9:32 PM
Monday, April 19, 2004
Remember all the controversy about the violence in The Passion of the Christ? How supposedly the violence in that film was the worst violence ever shown in any movie that's ever been made? How the violence was "pornographic"*? Well, many of those same critics who got the vapors over the violence in The Passion are just loving the latest Quentin Tarantino gorefest, Kill Bill, Vol. 2.
The excuse usually given when you point out this hypocrisy is that the Tarantino violence is "cartoonish" and not meant to be taken seriously. Which means violence is okay with these folks as long as it's treated flippantly -- like big joke. If it's treated seriously and realistically, it's just beyond the pale. Especially since it's a "Jesus movie".
*I think those who describe the violence in The Passion this way are unwittingly revealing a lot of things about themselves...and none of those things are good.
(Via Cut on the Bias.)
Update: Lee Anne Millinger has a very good post that delves deeper into why some reviewers have such a double standard. She says that it's not necessarily that they have an anti-Christian bias, but rather that they are unable to get past their own expectations of what a "Jesus movie" should be.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:12 AM
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Friday, April 2, 2004
My Mom, who has not set foot in a movie theater in probably 25 years, wants to see The Passion of the Christ. If she's feeling well enough (she's still trying to get over her shingles), I'd like to take her to see it before Easter. Having seen it myself, I've tried as best as I could to prepare her for it.
While on this subject, here are a couple of reviews that are well worth reading in their entirety. The first is from Susanna Cornett:
But one consequence of growing up studying the Bible, of talking about Christ’s death, of hearing the terms “scourging”, “mocking”, and “beaten” repeated over and over in the cool brightness of a comfortable church auditorium, is that the true horror of what Jesus Christ suffered as a man in the process of dying is lost. It becomes iconic, distant. We hear the words, we eat the communion bread, drink the communion grape juice, sing a sad song, pray, chat with our fellow congregants, then head off to Taco Bell or Wal-Mart. Those things aren’t bad, but a deep connection we need is too easily missed. That’s where The Passion of the Christ comes in.
I needed to see the sadness, the betrayal, the pain, and yes, the cruelty and the blood. It isn’t that I can’t “see” it without Mel Gibson – I can, and have. But it brought a realism and deep, almost physical pain to my imaginings that can only help me understand His true sacrifice. The movie wasn’t entertainment for me, and I didn’t need for Gibson to explain Christ’s history, ministry or goodness as “context” for the hours of His betrayal and death. Those who lament the short time frame, the limited story line, the details of the scourging, the pain, the mocking – those people are judging the movie from some set of criteria that have nothing to do with paying a debt of sorrow for sacrifice. Their judgment is based on The Passion as entertainment. And of course it failed them. But it didn’t fail me.
Then there's this review by Old Oligarch:
It is very human, and very tempting (and thus a favorite tool of the devil) to respond to experiences of horrific violence, to brutal dehumanization -- such as happened in the WWII holocaust -- by seeking to remove all that is violent, all that involves death, all that reminds us of our human passivity, from our religion. It is tempting to turn to an enlightened religion of pure hope and rationalized ethical principles of mutual upbuilding. We would like to be comforted by bracketing the reality of horror, but this is self-deception. It is not salvation from the horrible reality. Salvation is kenosis: the penetration of the divine into the lowest points of human existence; the resurgence (=re-surgo --> re-surrexit) of grace where nature is most beaten down, a mystical union with the divine at the very place where the human soul is most brutalized, dehumanized and threatened with disintegration.
If you understand Christ more as archetype, and less as propitiation, then you understand this. In the West, we sometimes focus too much on the propitiation-theology, and forget that "As I have done, so you must also do." When I see the Risen Christ at the end of the movie, I don't see a man whom Jews futilely tried to kill. I see a Jew risen from the dead. I see the only lens through which Auschwitz can become a place where the Nazi is as powerless over Jewish life as Caiaphas was over Christ.
And one more Passion-related item...Christopher Johnson mercilessly fisks a very silly review of The Passion by an Episcopal clergyman. It amazes me how people can become supposed leaders in a Christian church and be so clueless about Christianity:
Are sins no longer facts in the Episcopal Church? Okay, stupid question. But what on earth does “relationship” have to do with anything here? What should Gibson have done? Have Jesus name every single person in the entire world from the Crucifixion until the end of the age, for whom He died? That might have made for a longish movie.
The dialog in the movie, such as it was, is strained and shows no depth of character. Even the flashbacks felt forced: tableaus, objects separate from us, completely reified. The vengeful cries of the Jews, the brutality of the soldiers, the indecision of Pilate, even the compassion of Veronica and Simon of Cyrene are devoid of context; they are in the story because they have to be, they fit the plot line of the Stations of the Cross.
Dan. Buddy. What was the name of the movie you saw? You know, the one that you're reviewing here. It was entitled The Passion of the Christ, wasn't it? Know why the movie is called that, Dan?
Because. It. Was. A. Movie. Of. The. Last. Twelve. Hours. Of. The. Life. Of. Jesus. Christ.
Maybe someday those who whine about "context" in regards to this film will finally get that very important point.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:55 PM
Sunday, February 29, 2004
Passion - A Review of Sorts
After seeing this film on Ash Wednesday, I'm finally getting to a point where I can write some sort of review. So here are some hopefully cohesive thoughts on this film. (If you're interested, here are some initial thoughts I had right after I saw it.)
Some have looked at this film as a potential evangelization tool. It seems to me that some want to judge the success of this film by whether it can fulfill some utilitarian purpose. I think this is a mistake. As Jared pointed out in his review, this film will mean the most to Christians. It is mostly for us.
I don't know how non-Christians will react to this film. Some may hate it and some may be moved. Some Christians even hate the film, but I think it may have to do with the fact they don't want to see a Christ who suffered and died for their sins. They don't want all that icky stuff about sin and Hell to even be brought up. They want a happy-go-lucky, hippie Jesus who did nothing more than go around telling people to "love each other" and "judge not".
Some reviewers have complained about a lack of "context" in this film - they say that it should have gone into more detail about Christ's ministry and teachings. I have always understood that the word "Passion" in this context refers exclusively to Christ's arrest, torture and crucifixion. So I didn't have a problem with the events covered in the movie.
I don't think it was Mel Gibson's job to spoon-feed, propagandize or evangelize the audience. He was making a work of art about something that has made a profound impact on his life. Some may agree with the way he expressed it, others may not. I don't think you are a "bad" Christian if you don't want to see this film. That's a decision everyone must make for himself.
In this film, Christ is fully God and fully man. And as a man, He suffers greatly. His suffering is shown unflinchingly. It's very hard to watch certain parts. You will weep. At one point in the film, Jesus says to His mother Mary, "See mother, I make all things new." (Where have I heard that before? Revelation 21:5.) The Resurrection scene makes it clear that He meant what He said, that it was not just some pathetic statement from a dying man. He is shown with wounds healed and all the blood and sweat gone. Only the nail marks are left. Because of the Resurrection, this film has a hopeful and - dare I say it - happy ending despite all the suffering portrayed.
As people were leaving, everyone was so quiet. Nobody knew quite what to say. Everyone was contemplative and reflective. There was no anger or hatred (except maybe at their own sin). If this film gets people to take their faith more seriously, and I believe it will, then it has done a good thing.
A few more thoughts (I don't think there's anything too spoilerish here):
- Aramaic is a really beautiful language. And I actually recognized some of the Latin from all that those high school Latin classes.
- I was really impressed with the portrayal of Simon of Cyrene, the man picked from the crowd to carry Christ's cross.
- I loved the little flashback of the carpenter Jesus making a table and playfully bantering with His mother.
- Another brief moment of comic relief: Barabbas' strutting around after being set free.
Posted by Susan B. at 3:55 PM
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Friday, February 27, 2004
I'm sure those who object to a graphic depiction of Christ's crucifixion also strongly objected to war movies with graphic violence, like Saving Private Ryan*. Right? Right?
Movies that are gory and utterly sickening and empty, like Pulp Fiction**, have gotten all kinds of raves. But the portrayal of Christ's suffering is a scandal. Strange, isn't it?
*I have never seen this movie because of what I was told about the graphic violence. I didn't think I could handle it.
**I have seen this movie, much to my regret.
Update: Andrea Harris has some interesting things to say about this whole subject.
Update 2: More movie violence hypocrisy. (Via soundfury.)
Update 3: I'll let Dean Esmay have the last word on this subject.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
The Passion of the Christ - Some Quick Thoughts
I went to see the film, today. I'm still overwhelmed, and I have other things going on, so I will share some brief thoughts. I'm not very good at writing reviews, but I'll try to write some more on it later.
I'm putting these thoughts in the extended entry, so if you don't want to read "spoilers", you don't have to.
- There were news cameras and photographers at the theater. I tried to avoid them as much as possible.
- Weird event at the showing: as the movie was starting, with the shot of the moon, it suddenly stopped. Technical difficulties, apparently. After about 30 seconds to a minute, it started again.
- I didn't see any children in the theater - thank goodness, because it would not be appropriate. The youngest I saw was maybe early teens.
- The movie begins with Jesus' agonized prayer in Gethsemane. It ends with the stone rolled away, the empty wrappings, and the Resurrected Christ -- wounds healed, but with the nail mark on His hand.
- The film is not anti-Semitic. It is neither anti-Semitic nor anti-Roman. There are evil and good actions by both.
- Pilate's wife acts as his conscience. He doesn't listen. He is a cynical man, a politician who is trying to save his skin.
- The Roman soldiers have a mindless, giggling, thug-like brutality.
- Herod and his court are bizarre and decadent.
- The priests' brutality comes from desperation - they are desperate men trying to protect the status quo.
- Judas' inner torment and guilt were demonstrated very well, with the demonic children chasing him, with Satan lurking.
- Satan, represented as an androgynous woman, is a presence throughout. She haunts and tempts Christ at Gethsemane. She watches Christ as He goes through His agony. She screams in outrage after He dies on the cross.
- The significance of the foot stomping the snake becomes apparent at Gethsemane. I believe that scene with Satan was showing Christ's inner turmoil, His dread and fear. Christ's stomping of the snake, Satan's snake, was a resolution, as if He is saying, "Yes, I will go through with this."
- Yes, the movie is bloody, but this is not gratuitous. It is necessary...absolutely necessary. It's harrowing, but it should be. This is the unsanitized telling of Christ's crucifixion.
- Another presence throughout the film is Mary, Jesus' mother. Along with Christ's unimaginable agony, we see the unimaginable torment of a mother seeing her child die. After Jesus is taken down from the cross, He is laid across her. She has the saddest look in her eyes. Others have said that this look is saying, "Look what you've done." That is exactly what her haunting look said to me.
- Most of the events in this film are taken from the Gospels. Those that aren't are dramatizations that flesh out the story, or demonstrate an inner struggle. As pointed out by others, this is a work of art, not a documentary or propaganda.
- The film is well made and well acted.
That's all for now. I'll post some more on this later. It may even be tomorrow or this weekend before I can write more. I think I may have to keep from reading other people's thoughts on the film until I've had a chance to let everything sink in. Also, I don't think I can be patient with people nitpicking this film now that I've seen it. The nitpicking drove me crazy before, it'll really drive me crazy now.
Posted by Susan B. at 4:55 PM
| Comments (2)
Sunday, February 22, 2004
No more Passion posts...
...until I see the film on Ash Wednesday. So here's one last link and then a few more thoughts of my own.
Barbara Nicolosi - Preparing for The Passion (Via Open Book.)
Face it. We are a People who have grown lukewarm and distracted. We are the pathetic People of the Gospel warning who, ignoring the Signs of the Times - or maybe crestfallen, they both result in the same pastoral paralysis - are "busy about many things; eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage..." In the end, we should be defined by the conviction that "only One Thing is necessary." The Passion of the Christ reconnects us to that essential thread of our identity: We are a People of suffering, who follow the Man of Sorrows through this current 'Valley of Tears.' The Church is supposed to be "The Fellowship" that gets us through this sojourn, but our Sign is inescapably the Cross. The Cross is foolishness to the Diane Sawyers of human history and fury to the Dominic Crossan's. And so are we who claim it as our standard. [...]
So, sidestepping the debate of whether kids should see this film (probably not any real young ones - it's case by case with teenagers...), and whether it will cause a rash of pogroms (give me a frickin' break), and whether it is historically accurate (It ain't. It's ART. ART is the selection and distortion of details....Give me another frickin' break already!), I want to suggest a few ways, that the adult members of the People of God, can approach this film so as to receive the maximum spiritual benefit.
Barbara then goes on to make some good suggestions. And not all of them are just "Catholic stuff" either.
When I see the film, I'll post my take, if I can pull my thoughts together and be coherent. Now, I think we all need to remember that this film is (as Barbara pointed out) a work of art. It isn't supposed to be a replacement for Scripture. It isn't supposed to be propaganda. I admit that I've taken things to heart lately and have had trouble keeping things in perspective. I'm going to work on that before seeing this film, because I want to be in the proper state of mind and heart when I see it.
Posted by Susan B. at 4:02 PM
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Joshua Claybourn, Jen and Jared at Thinklings comment on it. I think Gibson did really well. I thought Diane Sawyer had a snotty attitude. Gibson came out looking very good and she came off as being sour and nasty.
As for trying to slime Mel Gibson because of his father's kooky beliefs...let me ask you something. My Mom likes to watch TBN and thinks Benny Hinn is just great. Does this mean I like TBN and Benny Hinn?*
*Here's a clue...I intensely dislike both.
Update: Ben Domenech has more and blogs4God has a nice roundup.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Scott Ott of Scrappleface fame has a new site: BoycottMTV. Actually, I've been doing that for years.
I mean, what on earth does the "M" stand for now, anyway? When I channel surf and flip past MTV, I never see music videos. All I see is what looks like some crap "reality" show.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:35 PM
| Comments (1)
Friday, February 6, 2004
Advertising The Passion
Amy Welborn posted about a company's plan to replace its usual advertisement on the hood of a NASCAR car with an advertisement for The Passion of the Christ. Amy thought it was inappropriate. I said in the comments that I thought it sounded cheesy.
However, some in the comments section thought that those of us who objected were being snobs. I clarified that I have nothing against NASCAR or NASCAR fans, although it doesn't interest me personally. I just thought such an advertisement seemed undignified for this kind of movie.
Well, I don't think I'm a snob. Maybe I'm overly sensitive to things like this because the media loves to portray Christians as a bunch of tacky yokels*. This advertisement looks like something that snooty elitist types would seize upon to do just that, whether it's fair or not.
Maybe I worry too much about what other people think.
I still think it sounds cheesy, though.
*Not that Christians don't give them plenty of ammunition, unfortunately.
Update: Apparently, Mel Gibson approves. Well, it's his movie... **shrug**
Update 2: Okay...I'm having second thoughts about all this. Perhaps this ad is a way to be salt, the very kind of thing that I brought up in this earlier post. A commenter named Jack on Amy's blog made a good point when he said this:
I'm sick of hearing Christians complain about the culture but then get offended when someone works within the culture (and ours is most definitely heavily influenced by advertsing) to promote something that I think most of us would conclude is good. I mean, if the race car was advertising a crisis pregnancy center would we complain that that takes away from the virture of a crisis pregnancy center?
I can't really argue with that.
Update 3: Sorry about the first linked post being a dead link...the post was taken down.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:10 PM
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Wednesday, February 4, 2004
I've got mixed feelings about this...
New York Times: Gibson to Delete a Scene in 'Passion'
A scene in the film, in which the Jewish high priest Caiaphas calls down a kind of curse on the Jewish people by declaring of the Crucifixion, "His blood be on us and on our children," will not be in the movie's final version, said the Gibson associate, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The passage had been included in some versions of the film that were shown before select groups, mostly of priests and ministers.
"It didn't work in the focus screenings," the associate said. "Maybe it was thought to be too hurtful, or taken not in the way it was intended. It has been used terribly over the years."
Jewish leaders had warned that the passage from Matthew 27:25 was the historic source for many of the charges of deicide and Jews' collective guilt in the death of Jesus.
I can understand this, but it seems almost like expurgation of the Scripture. It seems like Gibson caved in to pressure a little bit. However, I doubt that this cut will ruin the movie or anything, if it really is as powerful as people are saying it is.
The way I see it, "His blood be on us and on our children" applies to all sinners, which of course is everyone who has ever lived.
Posted by Susan B. at 3:15 PM
| Comments (4)
Sunday, February 1, 2004
Gibson's Changes to The Passion
From the Christianity Today Weblog:
WND: Mel Gibson agrees to change 'Passion' film to combat anti-Semitism
Mr. Gibson listened intently, hung his head, and was deeply moved. "What can I do," he asked? I responded, "When the last scene ends go to black, scroll these words across the screen: "During the Roman occupation, 250,000 Jews were crucified by the Romans, but only One rose from the dead."
"By doing this," I said, "instead of feeding Jew-hatred, you will be fighting it. You will be communicating the suffering of all Jews under Roman occupation. By simply inserting this statement, those who desire to use the film to incite hatred toward Jews will be deterred.
"Those who might use the movie to incite Jew-hatred would know that they would be doing just the opposite – challenging the evil myths (that Jews are cursed for crucifying Christ and are Christ-killers) taught throughout history, and still today. In addition, 'The Passion of the Christ' would be the first Jesus film produced to fight anti-Semitism by telling the true story of Jewish suffering during the time of Christ."
Mel Gibson became very excited, and said, "Perfect! I will do it. Yes, I will do it. I needed something for that spot anyway. This is it. I will do it. Thank you."
I think that is an excellent change to make.
Posted by Susan B. at 8:22 PM
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
An apostate "Christian" saw The Passion...
And of course, he hated it:
I thought "The Passion" was really perverse and really depraved.
So says one Rev. Mark Stanger. Plowing through this snotty, condescending crap would be impossible without Joe Carter's terrific commentary.
An Episcopalian from San Francisco...I wonder what Christopher Johnson would say about this...
(Via Jen Speaks.)
Update: Salon has more, and Joe Carter has more commentary. Salon labels Hugh Hewitt, who is a center-right Christian talk show host and blogger, as a "Right-wing Christian ideologue". Well, I guess he would seem that way to those who think Rev. Stanger is in any way representative of real Christianity.
Update 2: I knew Christopher Johnson would have something to say about this!
Posted by Susan B. at 6:25 PM
Monday, January 26, 2004
Hugh Hewitt on The Passion of the Christ
Here's just a little of what he has to say:
The Passion of the Christ is a phenomenal work of art; a moving and inspiring film that will certainly be shown again and again for generations to come. Though I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I do not believe that one needs to be a believer in the divinity of Christ to appreciate the majesty of the movie and its extraordinary commitment to authenticity and an objective recounting of the story of the passion and death of Christ as relayed through the Gospels.
If you do believe that Christ is the Son of God and that his death and resurrection are historical facts, the film will impact you because it assists faulty human understanding to grasp the immensity of the suffering and death of Christ that was required for our salvation.
Now go read the whole thing!
Update: Another must-read:
Paul Harvey Deacon Keith A. Fournier comments on The Passion.
Update 2: Here's the original source of the Fournier commentary.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:46 PM
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Jen got a chance to see The Passion of the Christ and has some thoughts on it. The more I hear about this movie, the more I look forward to seeing it. I've never gone to see a movie the day it opened. In fact, I don't go to see movies in the theater very often. Most of the time, I wait until they come out on video. But I would like to see this movie the day it opens (Ash Wednesday, February 25), if humanly possible. Since I always go to Ash Wednesday services at my church, I may take off work to catch an afternoon showing. Whatever the case, if it's playing here in town, I'm so there...
Update (1/15/04): The Passion of the Christ will debut on 2,000 screens. (Via Joshua Claybourn.)
Posted by Susan B. at 12:56 AM
Thursday, January 8, 2004
More Reports on The Passion of the Christ
Maripat at Right We Are (which is back in service, BTW) has a post about some reactions to a recent private screening of The Passion of the Christ in Hendersonville, TN. Here is a news article about that screening. And, the two letters posted at RWA can also be found here and here.
If these reactions and other reactions I've read are any indication, this looks like it may be one of the most important films ever to be released.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:28 PM
| Comments (2)
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Here's a scathing look at the aging Baby Boomer generation. (Via Andrea Harris.)
Meanwhile, it looks like many in my own generation have inherited the Boomer disdain for patriotism.
Posted by Susan B. at 1:30 PM
Early reports on Return of the King...
...From Lysander and Bill at Thinklings.
Posted by Susan B. at 12:54 PM
Thursday, December 4, 2003
Oh dear Lord...
Is this the best that the Bush haters can come up with? Turkeygate?
BTW, it wasn't a "fake" turkey, it was a real turkey that was "prettied up":
Officials said they did not know the turkey would be there or that Bush would pick it up. A contractor had roasted and primped the turkey to adorn the buffet line, while the 600 soldiers were served from cafeteria-style steam trays, the officials said. They said the bird was not placed there in anticipation of Bush's stealthy visit, and military sources said a trophy turkey is a standard feature of holiday chow lines.
So the "More PROOF that Bush is a dummy!" crap isn't going to fly.
**rolling eyes, shaking head**
Posted by Susan B. at 9:54 AM
Monday, December 1, 2003
Cosmo Girl Spirituality
It looks like Cosmopolitan is going to start offering spiritual advice along with the usual makeup ads and secks* tips.
Lorraine Candy, the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, which has a monthly circulation of 460,000, nevertheless insisted that the appointment of a spirituality editor was a necessary response to the growing number of young women searching for "something deeper".
"We get hundreds of letters every month from successful young women looking for something outside their material success to make them happy," she said. "From our own research and anecdotal evidence, it seems that more women are praying than ever before, more women are joining the Alpha course [which introduces people to the basics of the Christian faith], and more women are phoning psychic lines or going to Tarot card readers.
"Young women today are spirituality seekers, whether that be adhering to a formal religion or something a bit less dictatorial."
Yes, I'm sure there are a lot of seekers. But will Cosmo's fashionable, vague, New Agey spirituality help them find what they're looking for?
[Lynette Burrows, an author on children's rights and a Catholic family welfare campaigner] said: "Cosmopolitan sees spirituality as a consumer desire, to be satisfied according to the tenets of political correctness. Appointing a spiritual writer is like redecorating a brothel: it doesn't change what's inside."
I'm pretty skeptical, too.
(Via Open Book.)
*Props to Jared for the spelling!
Posted by Susan B. at 12:20 AM
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Thursday, November 20, 2003
Taking the Jacko-Free Pledge
Dean is making his blog a Jacko-Free Zone™ and I think it's wise to do likewise. This whole thing promises to be a media circus that will make the OJ trial look low-key in comparison. This will be my only post on the whole subject. My opinions are as follows:
- If you want to get an idea of what's going on inside this guy, just look at how he has mutilated himself over the years.
- I'm very much inclined to think he's guilty. Remember the old saying -- where there's smoke, there's fire. And we've been getting whiffs of smoke for a long time.
- Any parents who allowed their children to participate in "sleepovers" with Jacko are A) really stupid or B) disgusting human beings who had no problem pimping their children out for money.
- These people are complete, idol-worshipping idiots.
- I've always thought his music sucked, anyway.
- I pray for the children who have been victimized.
That about covers it. I'm done with this subject.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:30 PM
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Thursday, October 23, 2003
Here's the latest:
AP: Gibson's 'Passion' to Debut Ash Wednesday
Mel Gibson's passion-stirring Biblical epic "The Passion of Christ" will open in the United States on Feb. 25 — Ash Wednesday on the Roman Catholic calendar.
Well, it's Ash Wednesday for us Lutherans, too. ;-) Seriously, I had a feeling this movie would open on Holy Week.
"The Passion of Christ" stars Jim Caviezel as Christ and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene. The dialogue is in Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic with English subtitles.
I had heard that the name of the movie had been changed. And there has been some confusion as to whether there would be subtitles or not. Apparently it will, which I think is a wise decision.
Posted by Susan B. at 4:25 PM
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Sunday, September 28, 2003
Luther Movie Reviews
Even though I haven't posted in days, my hits are way up because of all the searches I'm getting about the new Martin Luther movie.
Here are some positive reviews:
And some negative reviews:
Predictably, Catholics hate this movie and Protestants like it. I haven't seen it -- it isn't playing here yet. I may end up waiting for it to come out on video.
One of the main criticisms of this movie is that Luther is portrayed too heroically, and that the bad parts of his character are ignored. For example, Luther was anti-Semitic, especially in his dotage. Yet, Luther was not the only one of his time who was anti-Semitic. Much of Christendom, including the leadership of the Catholic Church in Luther's time, was anti-Semitic. So, I think there is enough guilt to go around, in that regard.
Also, the movie has been criticized for being anti-Catholic. Well, I'll have to see the movie myself to determine if that's the case. When I saw Elizabeth a few years ago, I thought it was very anti-Catholic. If Luther is anything like that movie, then I'll have to agree. However, I don't think it is anti-Catholic to acknowledge that Luther had a point and that there was corruption in the Catholic Church of his time.
And for anyone who got here searching for Luther info, here are some previous posts:
Update (10/7/03): Eric Seymour, who is helping to fill in for Joshua Claybourn this week, saw Luther and liked it. There's quite a discussion going on in the comments of his post.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:40 PM
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Friday, September 12, 2003
The Media and 9/11
This post on blogs4God mentions a "Media Fast" that some took part in. Those who participated abstained from the media for the duration of 9/11. The reason being that the media has a tendency to exploit -- that it is insensitive to the victims and their families to show the scenes from 9/11.
Dean Esmay and Rachel Lucas (among many others) have a different opinion of showing scenes from 9/11. They believe it is important to remember the events of that day. They believe the media is wimping out by not showing these events. I would say that blogdom is picking up the media's slack in this regard.
While I think the idea behind the Media Fast is a noble and understandable one, I have to say that I agree with Dean and Rachel on this. I think a balance can be struck between insensitively exploiting the events of 9/11 and sanitizing them. Unfortunately, the major media seems to have trouble finding this balance.
It seems to me that people are falling asleep again. They are getting too comfortable, too complacent. They need to remember. Remember the victims. Remember the devastation. Remember the hate and fanaticism that fueled the attacks. Remember that the problem hasn't gone away. Remember to be vigilant.
Here are some more posts that are good reminders, posts that will keep us awake. There are many more than this -- these are just a few:
Posted by Susan B. at 9:30 AM
Sunday, September 7, 2003
More on Luther
First, there's this Agape Press article. (Link via Relapsed Catholic.) An excerpt:
Although the film is very frank, Strand says he has yet to hear of any criticisms from Roman Catholics. Certainly there has been no backlash comparable to the reactions from some of the Jewish community to Mel Gibson's as yet unreleased The Passion.
Then there's this lengthier article in Thrivent magazine:
Theological wrangling, however, isn't exactly a recipe for box-office blockbusters. So, why make a movie about a church reformer? Director Eric Till, auteur of the award-winning "Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace," points to Luther's pivotal place in history.
Scholars regularly rank Luther among history's most important figures. The Biography Channel recently named him third among the most important people of the last millennium. And a 1953 film called "Martin Luther" was a sleeper hit that earned two Academy Award nominations and remains a steady seller on home video. The story is popular because Luther was a man of uncommon conviction and courage, Till says. "We're all aching for a leader who won't lie," the director explains. Luther stood up for his beliefs, at great personal risk. "That was brave," the director says. "We're in dire need of people like that these days."
Luther was the epitome of the modern man, suggests Fiennes. His tale is heroic in the best sense. "You can't keep a man down and you can't control him," the actor says. "Sooner or later he will gain knowledge and, through knowledge, the power to be liberated."
Posted by Susan B. at 9:17 PM
In this post from a couple of weeks ago, a commenter wondered why Mel Gibson didn't portray himself as one of those nailing Jesus to the cross, if the true intent was to show that we are all responsible for Jesus' crucifixion. The commenter went on to say that Gibson would never make such a bold statement in the film.
Well, Alan at Theosebes links to an article in Chronicles Magazine which reveals that Gibson has done just that:
But nothing I have read about Passion suggests that Gibson is making this movie to blame anyone. I was moved by the interviews Gibson and Jim Caviezel, the actor playing Christ, gave EWTN, where they spoke of their desire to use the film to glorify Christ. Indeed Deal Hudson has written that “one of the two glimpses of Gibson in the movie is when you see his hand placing the stake on Christ’s palm—thus underlining Gibson’s own guilt, which in Christian theology he shares with all mankind, for the death of Christ.”
Posted by Susan B. at 7:03 PM
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
More Passion Controversy
I've been trying to think of how or if I should respond to the sentiments expressed in this article and this post on Mel Gibson's The Passion. (Links via Andrea Harris.) Well, I'm probably going to get myself in trouble, but here goes nothing...
First, there's the criticism of all the blood and gore. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't crucifixion a rather bloody, gruesome death? If Gibson had played that down, then he would have been criticized for making the crucifixion too sanitized and bloodless. And that criticism would be valid.
Secondly, I think it's unfair and downright offensive to imply that Christians will pour forth from the theaters after seeing this movie and start rioting. Look, it's pointless and stupid to blame any group for Christ's crucifixion. Any genuine Christian knows this...because we all share the blame. We believe that Christ had to die and rise again for us to be saved. Give us Christians some credit. Believe it or not, very few of us are knuckle-dragging Fred Phelps types.
Finally, the Salon article is basically saying that the Gospels themselves are anti-Semitic. (You have to sit through an ad to read the article.) The author speculates that, "'The Passion' will most likely offer up the familiar puerile, stereotypical view of the evil Jew calling for Jesus' blood and the clueless Pilate begging him to reconsider. It is a view guaranteed to stir anew the passions of the rabid Christian, and one that will send the Jews scurrying back to the dark corners of history."
All I can do is shake my head...
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Here's the trailer for Luther, the forthcoming movie about Martin Luther.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:06 PM
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Saturday, August 9, 2003
Rush Disses Bloggers
First of all, I'd like to point out that I like Rush Limbaugh and have listened to his show off and on for years. I started listening to him in 1989. He was very different in those days. Back then, he was outrageous and laugh-out-loud funny. I don't listen to him with any regularity now. He's much more staid and toned down now. (That's why I'm puzzled when people make Rush out to be some sort of crazy buffoon. The only thing I can figure is that, if they've even bothered to listen at all, they must not have listened to him recently.)
With that out of the way, I agree with lots of other bloggers that Rush is out of line with his scornful attitude towards blogs.
It all started with this piece from The Hill by Dr. David Hill: "Bloggers won’t match Limbaugh". Rush then commented on what Hill had to say and, of course, gloated about it. James Lileks' latest Bleat has a great takedown of Hill's article. I don't really have much to add to what Lileks has said, but I would like to make a couple of observations.
Hill accuses bloggers of having low production values. For one thing, not everyone is an expert with HTML, CSS and web design stuff. And they may not be able to afford to hire a web designer. However, they might be darn good writers or have interesting subject matter. If their sites look clean and presentable, does it matter if they have all the bells and whistles or not? Then there are some bloggers who love to tinker with their sites, make improvements and learn new things about web design. I'm one of those bloggers. I've learned quite a bit since I started this blog. In fact, I cringe when I think of what this blog looked like in its first few months.
Hill also says that bloggers don't talk about their personal lives enough. It's funny, but I've heard just the opposite charge leveled at bloggers. I mean, haven't we all heard of writers ridiculing bloggers who put pictures of their pets up on their blogs? I admit that I don't talk about my personal life much here. The main reason is that I'm a very private person. Also, I just don't think such details would be very interesting.
Finally, why does this have to be some sort of competition: talk radio vs. blogs? Who said that blogs have to overtake talk radio? In his commentary on Hill's piece, Rush says the following:
Many people write that bloggers are the Next Big Thing. Liberals, forever in search of something to kill talk radio, think Bloggers will return them to their positions of unquestioned power in the arena of ideas. But nothing is going to supplant talk radio because talk radio isn't going to cede the territory it now holds.
It seems like Rush is saying that blogs are part of some liberal plot to kill talk radio. Well, that's ridiculous. From what I see, most of the more popular political blogs are libertarian or conservative. And I don't see how blogs could in any way "kill" talk radio. If anything, the two can complement each other, and there are some talk radio hosts who have figured that out. Cam Edwards is a talk radio host who is also a blogger. So is Hugh Hewitt. And I think that Neal Boortz's Nealz Nuze would definitely qualify as a blog.
If those other talk show hosts have embraced blogging while Rush ridicules it, I have to wonder if Rush is still "on the cutting edge of societal evolution".
Posted by Susan B. at 10:55 PM
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Sunday, July 13, 2003
Here's the trailer for The Passion.
(Via Rodent Regatta.)
Posted by Susan B. at 7:36 PM
Friday, June 27, 2003
Upcoming Film: The Passion
The Passion is the already-controversial Mel Gibson-directed film on Jesus' crucifixion. Barbara Nicolosi of Church of the Masses has seen a rough cut and has a review. Saying that she liked the film is an understatement:
The Passion is a stunning work of art. It is a devout, act of worship from Mel and his collaborators - in the way that Handel's Messiah and Notre Dame were artistic acts of worship in previous times.
Barbara also answers a few questions about the film and notes that Protestants like it too.
(Via Amy Welborn.)
Posted by Susan B. at 11:03 PM
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Martin Luther Movie
It looks like a movie about Martin Luther is coming out this fall. I have to echo Mark Shea's sentiments: "Sure hope this doesn't suck."
Posted by Susan B. at 10:34 PM
Drudge and Paglia
Found via Relapsed Catholic: this lengthy but interesting interview of Matt Drudge by Camille Paglia. Here are a few notable items...
Drudge disses bloggers:
In the end I really don't care what I'm called, as long as it's not blogger.
Drudge on Iraq:
I was actually very on the fence on the war. It put me in a difficult position. If you've noticed, I thought I did a pretty clever job of at least sharing with readers what the U.K. Mirror, the Independent, all these antiwar outlets were doing. Probably it was perceived as just mischief-making, but it reflected my own lack of clarity about the war issue. I don't have to be clear, though. I'm not a politician.
On being pro-life:
Oh, yeah. I'm a prolife conservative who doesn't want the government to tax me. There are issues that I'm so frightened of—1.2 million abortions a year scares the hell out of me. Oftentimes when I see these superstorms forming, you know, sometimes—I wouldn't be honest if I didn't think it was retribution. I also am opposed to big government. Now, you would argue: Well, how could you support a government interfering with the rights of a woman over her own body? But I would argue: No. That all life is sacred. Abortion is the issue that really motivates me.
On Condoleezza Rice:
Oh, she's a powerhouse! But the DNC has a dirt file on her that is really thick. Think of The Contender, or those other movies that have warned what happens when a female candidate has some dirt she'd rather hide. And I wouldn't be surprised if Democrats used it.
I've been reading Drudge since 1995. I'm kind of surprised he has such disdain for bloggers, since blogging embraces the same sort of DIY attitude that Drudge has. Perhaps he feels threatened by it...
Also, Paglia is always fun to read, even though I strongly disagree with her on a lot of things.
Posted by Susan B. at 10:04 PM
| Comments (2)
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
In the name of all that doesn't suck, please don't let this happen. Sign the petition!
(Via Dean and Andrea.)
Posted by Susan B. at 12:24 PM
| Comments (1)
Monday, March 24, 2003
Forget You, Sci-Fi
Flargh expresses my sentiments exactly. I had almost forgiven Sci-Fi for canceling Farscape, because I really liked the Children of Dune mini-series. But after the way the final Farscape episode ended, I'm just completely disgusted. It was worse than the way Twin Peaks ended.
There are very few TV shows that I take a liking to and watch regularly. Why do the networks always hate my favorite shows?
Posted by Susan B. at 12:35 AM
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Sunday, March 23, 2003
Andrea Harris and Kevin Parrott are watching the Oscars so you don't have to!
Posted by Susan B. at 10:09 PM
Friday, March 14, 2003
Saturday, March 15th is International Eat an Animal for PETA Day.
Make a PETA member cry. Here are some suggestions:
Posted by Susan B. at 10:19 PM
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Monday, February 24, 2003
Oh, the Grammys were on?
I never watch the Grammys and I forgot they were even on tonight. Andrea Harris has some color commentary on the show, which is much better than actually watching it.
Instead of the Grammys, I ended up watching a good, soapy film-noir called Nora Prentiss on TCM. Usually, I just have the TV on as background noise while doing other things, but that movie actually drew me in.
I noticed some over at Andrea's are asking who Norah Jones is. I haven't heard any of her music yet, but Joshua Claybourn seems to like her a lot.
Posted by Susan B. at 12:06 AM
Monday, December 2, 2002
Satire or Diatribe?
Canadian Christianity: Christian bands turn down movie role
Most independent rock bands would jump at the chance to appear in a Hollywood movie, especially one produced by R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe. But several Christian musicians in the Vancouver area turned down just such an opportunity a few weeks ago when they were asked to fill in for an American band that backed out of a film at the last minute.
The reason they turned the film down? The script, which makes fun of born-again Christians.
Now, I love satirical humor, and I don't think Christians are exempt from being satirized. But I have to wonder if this movie will end up being just a bitter, anti-Christian diatribe instead -- especially when Stipe describes the movie as being "like those monster vampire high school kind of movies, only here the monsters are Jesus-freak teenagers."
(Link via RockRebel).
Posted by Susan B. at 10:32 PM
Neal Boortz has the following to say about the above topic:
SO … HOW LONG DID THIS “HOLLOWOOD MARRIAGE” LAST?
I’m talking about the so-called marriage between Nicholas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley. How long did this one last? Minutes, hours, weeks? No more than a few months.
We really need to come up with a new name for these Hollywood sexual liaisons. They aren’t marriages, and to call them such is to insult every true, loving and dedicated marriage in this country. It is obscene to compare this Presley-Cage tryst, or any of Julia’s different arrangements, or J-Lo’s newest excursion into the sack with the dedication and love that you see in the faces of couples celebrating their Golden Anniversaries. Let’s just call them “Hollywood Couplings,” or something like that.
My suggestion for what to call these "marriages" -- "Flings with Rings."
Posted by Susan B. at 2:15 PM
Friday, November 15, 2002
I've had a rant brewing in my head about this subject for quite a while. However, Michelle Malkin says it far better than I could in this column: "A generation of skanks."
(Via Nealz Nuze.)
Posted by Susan B. at 10:15 PM
Thursday, September 12, 2002
Can Farscape be saved?
I should have known this would happen. Every TV show I take a liking to gets canceled.
Posted by Susan B. at 9:35 PM
Monday, July 29, 2002
More on Christians and the Culture
Continuing in the same vein as last night’s post…
Amy Welborn comments on a recent episode of the show “Sex and the City”. While I’ve heard a little about this show, I’ve never watched it and I have no desire to do so. A show about four women who live in New York, bed hop and buy shoes just doesn’t sound like something I want to watch. I’ve often thought that maybe I should watch it so I could more fairly judge it, and to keep myself from being too sheltered about what’s going on. (I get the impression that this is why Welborn watches the show.) But I just haven’t made the effort.
Judging from Welborn’s description of the most recent episode, the show sounds like pretty much what I’d expect. Except that apparently these four women aren’t very happy. Perhaps their lifestyle is not being glamorized as much as I figured it would be. However, according to Welborn, these women are not offered an alternative to their empty lives.
Maybe I'll force myself watch the show sometime so that I can get a first-hand impression of it.
Posted by Susan B. at 11:34 PM
Culture Wars and Blog Wars
Joshua Claybourn got a lot of flak for a post he made about filthy lyrics in some current pop songs. Even though he gave ample warning, some were angry that he posted some of the lyrics on his blog. I think their anger is misplaced. Claybourn did not post the lyrics gratuitously or to titillate. He did it because he was making a point, because he was trying to educate.
I think the flak he got illustrates the attitude many Christians take towards the world. They want to hide from everything and pretend the bad stuff doesn't exist. Well, it does exist. How are Christians supposed to have some relevance to the culture if we're not aware of what's going on? How are we going to respond?
I'm not saying that Christians need to go out and immerse themselves in all that's filthy in our culture to understand it. But Christians should not be sheltered and naive either. As Christ said, "be gentle as a dove yet wise as a serpent."
Claybourn makes this point more eloquently than I can:
Half of the population doesn’t think twice about it, and the other half finds it revolting. What’s wrong with this picture? On the one hand, you have Christians fleeing the scene and hiding from anything non-Christian in our culture. On the other hand, you have younger people (Christian and non-Christian) seeing little harm in the music. I think it would be naďve and foolish to think they’re not exposed to foul language and music frequently, even if they attend a Christian school. The alarming thing here is that these are the number one and number two "songs" in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people paid money for the CD, and an exponentially larger number listen to it on the radio or their computer.
Like I said, the anger at reposting the lyrics is misplaced. How about directing the anger at the "artists" themselves and at a culture that makes these people millionaires?
All in all, it's a good debate. Read Claybourn's posts, the comments and other posts that he links to.
Posted by Susan B. at 12:38 AM